Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Never gets old

There's a phenomenon in ICU's referred to as "alarm fatigue." It's when nurses become desensitized to the patient monitor alarms due to overstimulation. (In particular, the great number of false alarms sounding off slow the roll of the staff's reaction.) You can see where this becomes a safety issue.

I had noticed a similar issue with my bedside alarms at home. It usually only takes a few weeks until that cute ringtone calling me to rise becomes really obnoxious. So much so that I just want to punch the snooze button, make it shut up as quickly as possible, and fall back asleep. Or throw my phone at the wall across the room.

Every other tune on my alarm I had come to hate. Somehow, though, I found something I truly enjoy waking up to. The prelude to Bach's cello suite #1 has been playing for me every day for a year now, and I love it as much as I did when hearing it for the first time. Yes, I still hit my snooze button quite often, but sometimes I just let the prelude play for a while and soak in the beauty of it. I was afraid that programming it into my alarm would ruin the music for me, but apparently Bach was composing for keeps.

If there is a sound for loveliness, I think this is it. It's just a shade dark, like a matured emotion. Some people are happy just because they don't know better. This piece sounds like someone who knows harder times but found joy anyway.

Mischa Maisky:

Yo-Yo Ma:


  1. Thanks for this post. And the two different recordings. I'm trying to decide which I like better. Maisky is more idiosyncratic, but I love the rawness and immediacy of it. I need to figure out how to get this as my alarm ringtone. My current ring is not a pleasant wake-up. I'd forgotten how wonderful the cello suites were, now that I don't live close enough to steal my dad's recordings ... (It's funny; I heard this piece in a TV show the other night and was trying to place it mentally and couldn't come up with the name. Thanks for solving that!)

  2. Ahhh. Love this one.

  3. That first guy is really something! Loved it!

    Aunt Alex